My mother has Alzheimer's with delusions. How do I handle them?

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My mother has Alzheimer's with delusions. She sees me in my stepfather's bed with my long red coat on and him crawling around naked in bed with me and she says she saw us having sex while she was in the hospital. How do I turn that around?

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Dear Yorkshire, When this first happened to my mother and to me, it was the day she was moving from her beloved home to an assisted living facility. That day was the start of a huge downhill turn for mom. When it first happened, I had all kinds of emotions running through my mind. First of all mom stated she could not walk all of a sudden and was sitting on a kitchen chair in the doorway of the kitchen and hallway. So that was the first "holy s***&" moment. Then she started telling me about all the people at the other end of the kitchen when she was getting her coffee and was particularly pissed that someone came over to her and asked her for some of her coffee. That one just made me go into another world myself. It was one thing for her not be able to walk, another was her all of a sudden seeing a crowd in her kitchen, but the topper, was how rude she thought it was for someone she did not know to ask her for a cup of coffee in her home. I was dripping wet from just getting out of the shower after my sister came screaming into the bathroom to announce mom could no longer walk and to get out there as fast as possible, all on the day she was moving. And the part that she wanted us to understand in all of this, was she thought it was rude for a stranger to ask for a cup of coffee. Talk about nuts. Talk about WTF????? That was 8 years ago and mom is still going strong, although she is completely immobile and incontinent.
But onto your situation. When mom said all that to me and I was able to take a few moments to wrap my head around what just happened and what didn't really happen, I just agreed with her on how rude that person was and I agreed that it would have struck me as strange to have a stranger in my house ask me for a cup of coffee. All the while my sister is just staring at me like we are in an alternate universe. So the simple answer to your question is, to go with it at first. Maybe ask her a couple of probing questions about her hallucination. Reassure her that you may have felt the same way and as others have suggested, steer the topic in another direction. They will follow, believe me. So then when we got her into her new apt in the assisted living facility, we were sitting down, adjusting to the place and my mother looked at her couch, and specifically at the throw pillow at the end of the couch and remarked, 'oh, what a nice baby". I just looked at her and said "what? where"? and she pointed to the pillow. I picked up the pillow and asked her if this was the baby and she said yes. So I agreed what a nice baby it was, put it back and changed the conversation. The next day I jokingly asked her if she saw anyone in her kitchen this morning or any babies and she just tongue lashed me and said not to be fresh at your mother as if she knew I was playing with her and she was back to normal. From that point on, I knew it was going to be a whole other world I would be living in and it has. keep talking on this forum. It helps.
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You've gotten good advice. It helps if you can find out what triggers the delusions. Be prepared, because it might be that you are the trigger. I have this situation with my 94 year old FIL. He thinks he and I are lovers. Yes, and that we were carrying on an affair for years before he moved in with us (we share with his daughter, thank goodness, so he's not always with us!). Whenever he sees me, he cannot stop thinking about... us. And it never happened!

You can't get around the delusion. To the person with dementia, these memories feel utterly real. They believe them. Believe me, I have tried to set Dad straight. Nothing has worked. Nothing ever will. He won't be distracted as long as I am there. But if I am not around... neither is his fixation on what he thinks happened.

I hope you find some of the above tactics work so you can go back to having a more normal relationship with your mother. I can only imagine how much pain this delusion is causing you both.
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Thank you all for the answers. They mean the world to me
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The article ff looked up for you is good. It may help you.

When a delusion comes up
1) acknowledge what mom is feeling (Oh Mom! You must be terribly hurt and angry to think that.)
2) depending on the nature of the delusion either just go along with it or offer some other explanation. Keep in mind mother firmly believes that these delusions are real. (Sometimes medications make dreams seem very real. I know that Dad would never get into bed with another woman, especially not me, but dreams don't have to be logical.)
3) Try to move conversation to another topic. (Speaking of that red coat, I remember when you helped me pick that out. I need a new jacket soon. Would you come along to advise me? And maybe we can stop for ice cream afterwards.) or (Mom, I'm suddenly real thirsty. I'm going to make myself an ice cream float! Would you like one?)
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Dear Yorkshire,

I know its very disturbing what your mom is saying. I think its very hard to get her to stop talking like this or find a way to distract her. Have you talked to the doctor? Maybe they need to change her meds. I know it hurts to see your mother like this.
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What I meant on that question is more like how to get her off that subject. How do I turn the conversation around
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Yorkshire, sadly these delusions are part of serious memory loss, and there is no way to turn it around.

I found this article here on Aging Care that would be very helpful. https://www.agingcare.com/articles/hallucinations-delusions-and-paranoia-151513.htm
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